Ras Nungwi is found on a beautiful stretch of beach...
Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel: Our full report
At the very northern tip of Zanzibar, Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel sits on a beautiful white stretch of coastline. It’s a popular, high-quality hotel which has resort-style facilities - including internet access, large swimming pool, watersports centre and games area.
The lounge/dining area at Ras Nungwi is a large, split-level thatched structure with a tiled floor covered in large rugs. There are endless comfortable sofas to sit on around the lounge and bar area covered in bright Zanzibari cushions - a nice option to escape from the heat of the day. There is also a games area with darts, pool and a ping-pong table, and a small computer room with one computer for free internet use Wireless is now available in the central communal areas too. There is also a shop here selling a range of curios and toiletries.
The games area at Ras Nungwi is very popular with younger visitors, especially after dinner, and boasts a pool table, table tennis, board games and darts. There’s also a flood-lit tennis court (equipment provided for free).
Through the bar area you reach the dining area where plenty of tables with white directors chairs are spread around. Chilled out music is played during the day to give the place a great relaxed atmosphere.
Just below the dining area sits the fresh-water swimming pool, with paths leading down to the beach below. There are lots of very comfortable sun loungers with free towels, and plenty of shade, however, during busy times, especially in school holidays, the pool can get a little noisy and hectic.
For some more peace and quiet, follow the path through the green gardens to the beautiful beach, where you can snorkel at high tide. A beach bar serving cocktails and lunch is open until 6pm.
Ras Nungwi has 32 rooms which all stand in well-kept gardens. There are four different types depending on their location, view and finishing touches - although every room does include air-con, tea and coffee facilities safes and hair-dryers.
The 13 terraced Lodge Rooms are situated furthest away from the beach, in the neat garden behind the main area and car park. The 14 Superior chalets and 4 Superor Deluxe chalets are closer to the beach with sea views - differing only in that the ‘Deluxe’ comes complete with music system, deluxe toiletries and a fruit basket on arrival.
Though the rooms vary, all have a lovely large Zanzibari bed draped with a mosquito net, an en-suite bathroom and a veranda. In addition there is also the fantastic (though fantastically priced!) Ocean Suite which offers 200 square metres of living space, private sun-deck and plunge pool.
Activities at Ras Nungwi include a variety of watersports arranged through the great dive centre, which offers two dives a day to Mnemba Island and the surrounding sites. If big-game fishing is a real interest to you then Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel is a great option. The hotel has three big-game fishing boats, along with professional tackle and international safety standards. ‘Tag and release’ fishing is generally encouraged, unless it’s a record-breaking fish or fisherman’s first ever catch.
Ras Nungwi is a good option for those who want a larger lodge with a bit more activity and buzz to it. It’s not an overly luxurious lodge, but it offers really good facilities and great value for money in a lovely location.
Ideal length of stay: The average stay at Ras Nungwi for most guests is 5 nights.
Directions: It takes around 35 minutes to fly to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, and then it’s a further one and a half hours to transfer to Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: Breakfast, served from 7:30 - 10am, is a self-service buffet and includes fruit, cereals, juices, fresh breads and a cooked breakfast with eggs of your choice served at a the omelette station.
With most guests staying on half-board, lunch is an a la carte menu with a mix of international cuisine and daily specials to choose from. Examples include tomato, mozzarella and basil pesto salad, tuna burgers and seafood tapas. It is served from 12 - 2 and can be eaten down at the beach bar if required. A small a la carte menu is available until 6pm though.
Dinner, served 8 - 9:30pm, is usually a slightly more formal 4-course affair - though sometimes there is also a delicious buffet that serves a variety of barbequed meat and fish with fresh salads and vegetables. There is also a varied and extensive wine list.
When we last stayed at Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel, the food was very good. We enjoyed prawns to start, then courgette and mint soup, a choice of lamb or fish as main course followed by fruit salad. Sometimes they offer a buffet, which has, in the past, been very good, however we didn’t sample it on our last visit. Breakfast was also of a very high quality with something for everyone, including some delicious fresh-baked bread! They had live music playing during dinner last time we were there, which added a great, fun atmosphere.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £5-10
Drinks included: Drinks are not included.
Family holidays: Ras Nungwi has plenty of activities on offer to keep different family members occupied. A games room, a swimming pool and a water sports centre all help to make the lodge popular with families, especially those with older children. Though parents should note that there are no special clubs here for children, and that they will be their parents’ responsibility for the duration of their stay.See more ideas for Family holidays in Zanzibar
Beach holidays: With beautiful white sand and turquoise waters, Ras Nungwi is a great place for relaxing and swimming. However if you don’t feel like lounging all day, you can also organize a variety of water sports from the Dive Centre. One draw back of this beautiful spot though, is that at high tide almost the entire beach disappears under water. Fortunately Ras Nungwi has loungers set back a little from the beach to accommodate tireless sun-worshippers.See more ideas for Beach holidays in Zanzibar
Diving & snorkelling: Ras Nungwi has a large well equipped dive school on site and with four qualified dive instructors it is a great place to learn. They organize daily dives on nearby sites for those who are already qualified; if you stay here a few days you are likely also to be able to join a boat going out to Mnemba Island - a beautiful marine reserve off the east coast.See more ideas for Diving & snorkelling in Zanzibar
Attitude towards children: Ras Nungwi happily accepts families and children.
Equipment: There are cots and highchairs available to put in the rooms.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: This is a good hotel for children – there is a large pool, lovely beach and a fun games area with a table tennis table. Though children are the full responsibility of their parents whilst at Ras Nungwi.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is mobile phone coverage at Ras Nungwi. There is also internet access which costs $6 per hour. WiFi is available in the public areas.
TV & radio: There are ipod stations in the Deluxe Suites and the Ocean Suite. The Ocean Suite also has a DVD player (but no TV).
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: The dive team are all first aid trained and there is a first aid kit on site for minor injuries and illnesses. Stone Town is only an hour and a half away for more serious emergencies.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel has a front gate which is normally closed and watched, security guards around the property, and a few discrete askaris (guards) on the beach.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all of the bedrooms and communal areas at Ras Nungwi, as well as fire alarms in the main areas. In addition the management team has a safety system in place for checking all of the rooms.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: There is a full Laundry Service which is an extra Charge – approximately $1 – 3 per item
Money: Ras Nungwi will exchange currencies and travellers' cheques for guests only.